This fragrance puzzles me. It smells at the same time pedestrian and refined,a bit tacky but immensely pleasant to wear. I think overall I lean to a positive opinion about this, making me think that Almairac did a laudable and really creative job with not-so-great resources at hand. What puzzles me here is that it took me quite some time to familarize with this fragrance and be able to even just get some of the notes. At first it was just an odd “whole” smelling at once massively generic, yet never smelled before – but I admit I may be just a bit relatively new to this side of “cheapos”, so probably it is just something I am not used to. Anyway what I get at the very opening is a thick, balmy, quite sweet but somehow perfectly wearable blend comprising fruity-powdery notes on a sort of dusty, dry, “greyish” amber and labdanum base. I get something soapy which I guess is rose, and something juicy and green-aromatic definitely smelling like apple. This first stage is quite bold and as nearly any other reviewer noted, quite heavy to the point of overwhelming. And honestly a bit cheap too, but in a tolerable, playful way.
The drydown on the contrary is really good, mellow and subtle but perfectly vibrant even after many hours. It is by far the best part of Desire for me, and it luckily arrives soon and stays there for hours; still “artificially” sweet but more leaning on a gentler, somehow “breezier” rose-wood accord, just scented with a restrained and perfectly gentle hint of fruit, echoing the dry, slightly sour woods of scents like Trussardi Inside Man, and the woody, slightly syrupy sweetness of Escada Magnetism for Men. Also, on the drydown there is a decidedly bolder presence of labdanum and amber with an equally sharp sort of soapy musk. I think I get something aldehydic, too. Again, really synthetic and almost tacky on one side, but inexplicably so enjoyable to wear, even refined. It may be just a suggestion, but I think I get some of the ideas Almairac used with more class (and probably more budget) ten years later or so for Bottega Veneta EDP for women; a really similar sort of sweet, floral, “gassy” dustiness almost “abstract” in its syntheticness. Not sure if Desire may be considered a “good” fragrance, all I know is that it smells really pleasant to wear, and overall quite distinctive and memorable. It reminds me of McDonald’s stuff – probably the crappiest materials around, but still I bet most of us love those sandwiches every time, and still pretty much nothing tastes like that (either in a good or bad way). Much powerful in both projection and persistence, so – use sparingly.